Tuesday, April 18, 2017
COLUMBIA, SC - Columbia police are investigating multiple false 911 calls made to the department in recent months, as Lexington County authorities grapple with a rising number of fake calls.
City officers were called last week to a burglary in progress at a home on the 1600 block of Atlantic Drive in Columbia, according to a police report. The call was determined to be a prank call.
“We have received numerous prank calls from the same 911 prefix number in the surrounding area over the past few months,” police wrote in their report.
Since last month, Columbia officers have responded to the 4500 block of Bentley Court for several “possible suicide” calls that originated from the same number, police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said.
The latest fake 911 call in Columbia comes after Lexington County authorities have taken more than 60 false 911 calls to their dispatch center since late March. The Sheriff’s Department tweeted Monday that it received four more calls in recent days, bringing to total number of false calls received to 65.
The woman believed to be behind the calls to Lexington County reports serious incidents such as shootings, robberies or burglaries when she calls, officials have said.
It remains unclear if the calls to Columbia police are connected to the calls received in Lexington County, but Timmons said they are sharing their information with the Lexington and Richland County sheriff’s departments.
Under state law, a person convicted of making a false 911 call faces up to six months in prison.
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